Transitioning Your New Landscape Installation to Maintenance

Posted by Joseph Barnes on Feb 15, 2022 12:35:56 PM

Whether you have a brand-new commercial landscape or one that was recently heavily renovated, you know that you’ll need to transition into a period of ongoing commercial landscape maintenance to keep it looking its best.

You might be inclined to simply assume that the company that installed the landscape would be the best choice to maintain it, too. But that’s certainly not always the case. And for some clients. It’s not even an option, because the installation company does not even offer maintenance services.

We have found in many of the regional markets where we work, that there are some companies that are amazing at landscape installation. However, when it comes to commercial landscape maintenance, they’re not as proficient, or don’t even offer ongoing maintenance to their clients.

We’ve been brought into a number of projects that we have taken over from a landscape installation company that wasn’t delivering the ongoing service results the client desired. This is oftentimes the result of a client simply assuming that the same company that was great at landscape installation would be similarly great at providing ongoing maintenance, too.

Other times, we’re asked to come in and take over maintenance by the landscape installation company, because they want to use their employees for new installation projects, not for maintenance contracts. Labor and staffing are a challenge across our industry, and if your specialty is installation, it makes sense to put all of your resources toward what you do best as a company.

No matter what the case, if your landscaping maintenance needs are not being met, then it’s likely time to make a switch.

In this article, we’ll talk a bit more about some points to consider if you’re thinking about transitioning your new or renovated landscape installation into ongoing commercial landscape maintenance.

When to Know It’s Time for a Change?

At Yellowstone Landscape, we do provide landscape installation work in a few of the markets we serve. But we are very clear and intentional about our focus staying on providing exceptional commercial landscape maintenance.

We believe that it’s important to educate prospective clients that it is entirely possible, (and in fact very likely) that just because a company is good at installing plant material and turf, that in no way means that they’ll be skilled at caring for those plants or turf. When it comes to large-scale commercial landscaping, installation and maintenance are two entirely distinct services with employees that hold very different skill sets.

Commercial maintenance raking leaves

But we often find there are a lot of misconceptions and false assumptions. People tend to think of “landscaping as landscaping,” and don’t realize how different installation work can be from ongoing commercial landscape maintenance.

For this reason, we do end up taking over the ongoing landscape maintenance work of properties that were installed by another company.

This might happen when the client comes to realize that their turf is struggling or turning yellow or their landscaping is really underperforming. Perhaps flowers aren’t blooming or plants are even dying.

The Timing is Important

The sooner that you can make this transition, the better. It’s not ideal to allow the landscape to fall into poor shape before making the switch as then there is going to be catch-up work that needs to be done.

Of course, we understand that it’s not always easy to spot early problems, especially in the case of a newly installed landscape.

Commercial landscaping crew hedge trimming shrub pruning maintenance

And sometimes, property managers might be tempted to wait out the first year, or whatever stipulated warranty period was given when the landscape was installed. If plant material was warrantied for a certain time period, you might be sticking with the installer through that time so that you make sure to get your “free replacements”.

But if you feel your commercial lawn or landscape is not thriving, you’ll want to think about making that transition long before trees and plants start to decline beyond repair.

Strong and competent commercial landscape maintenance is ultimately a protection of your landscape investment and it’s of critical importance to make sure your investment thrives for years to follow. It’s these maintenance services that are going to help your landscape continue to deliver the value that you expect.

How Will the Services Change?

When you bring in a new commercial landscape provider, they should perform a thorough evaluation of your property and come up with a detailed plan of action. They should be looking at the entire property and making recommendations throughout.

This will include looking at plant material and ensuring that they have the right access to nutrients. That also means evaluating soil health. If the soil is in really poor shape, lacking essential nutrients, it can take some time to recover.

Commercial landscaping crew maintenance on shrubs

If your commercial property has trees, their ongoing care might have also changed a lot from the installation period. In general, it is important to remember that a landscape is a living and evolving thing that does change over time.

The turf and its needs over the seasons and years should also be evaluated.

If your commercial landscape’s turf is not being properly irrigated, some vital changes may need to be made. One thing that also commonly changes over time is the amount of shade that your property is covered by. If the trees have grown fuller since installation, your turf might be a lot more shaded now than it initially was.

You want to find a commercial landscape provider that is adapting its services to your maturing landscape.

commercial landscaping maintenance team deadheading flowers

Even after you’ve hired a commercial landscaping provider, it’s important to remember that the services they’re offering now are going to have to change over time with the landscape. As your landscape evolves, its needs will change. In time, some services might take longer or some tasks might require more care. Pruning is a good example of this. Pruning small, new trees is much less complex than pruning mature trees.

Your landscape maintenance services will need to change over time as your landscape transitions from that newly installed period into being a mature landscape.

Have Patience as Some Changes Take Time

If you’re hiring a new commercial landscape provider to replace a company that isn’t meeting your needs, then keep in mind these changes are not going to happen overnight. It can take time to restore a struggling landscape to good health.

Your landscape provider should be clear on what your expectations should be, including a timeframe to start seeing improvements as your new landscape gets established.

commercial landscaping crew maintenance pulling weeds

At Yellowstone Landscape, one of the things that we pride ourselves on is good communication. That all starts with listening. When starting off with a new client, we listen to the problems that they are having and then we start talking about possible solutions.

By making communication a priority, we can start to turn things around.

Of course, we know that it’s not enough to just be good listeners and have good ideas. We also have to be able to execute those ideas. We have the capability, the size, and the expertise to follow through on the plans that we put into place for our clients.

commercial landscaping maintenance mowing grass

Many clients appreciate that we have the capabilities of a large national company while also being very locally-focused on the markets that we are in. This has allowed us to fully embrace the needs of our local clients while still having the capacity to handle large projects and properties.

It’s about having the best of both worlds. This is something that many of our new clients often express they appreciate about us.

Working with Yellowstone Landscape

At Yellowstone Landscape, we take pride in the partnerships that we form. You can count on us to listen to your wants and needs, develop an actionable plan, and communicate regularly about our progress.

This is all part of protecting your investment in your landscape. Commercial landscape maintenance is one of the most important things that you can do for your property. It will help your landscape and your entire property to continue to look and perform its best for many years to come.

After all, you’re spending hard-earned money to keep your property functioning optimally and you deserve to know exactly what you’re getting. At Yellowstone Landscape, we are available to guide you throughout the entire process.

Are you ready to feel confident in making a wise choice for commercial property landscaping? Request a consultation today. We’ll meet to learn more about your property and its challenges and come up with a comprehensive plan to take care of all of the details for you.

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Joseph Barnes

About The Author

Joseph Barnes

Joseph Barnes has served as Marketing Manager of Yellowstone Landscape since 2013. He writes on a variety of topics related to the commercial landscaping industry.